CHICAGO — The 1937 Group, Ltd., a Chicago-based company, has entered into a definitive agreement to establish the first minority-owned vertically integrated cannabis company in Illinois. The agreement gives The 1937 Group ownership of three licensed cannabis companies: Parkway Dispensary, Helios Labs, and Highwaymen Security, which have been awarded an Illinois retail, craft grow cultivation, and cannabis transportation license, respectively.
The transaction will allow The 1937 Group to streamline management structure and operations, and provides a foundation for strategic growth within the Illinois market, as well as positions the company for expansion into other licensed states.
About the acquired companies:
● Parkway Dispensary is an adult-use cannabis dispensary opening its first location in Danville, IL, near the location of a proposed casino to be operated by Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos.
● Helios Labs is a licensed Craft Grower which will be launching construction of its 50,000 sq ft cultivation and manufacturing facility in Broadview, IL.
● Highwaymen Security is a cannabis transporter, licensed to securely transport cannabis products between Illinois’ licensed cultivators, infusers and retailers.
The 1937 Group intends to manufacture and distribute its proprietary brands and products, with an emphasis on small-batch craft quality and distinctive genetic offerings, while promoting good business practices with a focus on equity, inclusion, and social responsibility.
“As new companies from outside Illinois enter this market, we have a unique opportunity and an obligation to lead by example,” said Ambrose Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of The 1937 Group. “We have extensive knowledge and experience in the cannabis sector, as well as the unique local perspective needed to build a meaningful community-based brand that can make a significant impact not only on the industry, but also in the lives of the people we employ and serve.”
The company is also spearheading a group of projects that will include local community members and artists.
“This is an open invitation to all other social equity cannabis operators to join us,” Jackson said. “We collaborate and partner with other craft operators and retailers in this space because together, we can create a larger and more scalable impact. For us, this is about leading a movement that empowers minority involvement, with a focus on the intersection between cannabis, culture, music and art.”
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
The 1937 Group
About The 1937 Group:
The 1937 Group is the first minority-owned vertically-integrated cannabis company in Illinois, and as such, is committed to creating opportunities for others whose voices often get overlooked.
The company took its name from The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which effectively made possession or transfer of marijuana illegal throughout the United States under federal law. The Act and its subsequent messaging demonized the cannabis plant and spread a public perception that there were connections between cannabis and violent crime – along with the racist portrayal that the perpetrators were usually minorities and the victims were white.
The net result of The Marjhuana Tax Act was the targeting and imprisonment of a disproportionate amount of Blacks and Latinos. Amendments to the Act were adopted through the years, which created mandatory imprisonment for cannabis offenses of up to 25-years to life, and even allowed the death sentence in certain cases.
The 1937 Group is so named to increase awareness of how the cannabis plant has been historically misused legislatively and judicially in the US and to ensure that benefits from legalization directly benefit the individuals and communities that have been harmed by prohibition.